Thru the years I've slowly tried to build a collection of football memorabilia, I'm a Cowboys fan and thought I had a pretty nice collection. A long time ago I built a nice collection of Wayne Gretzky stuff but I bought it right off his site, WG Authenticity and felt great about every purchase. My Cowboys stuff I've bought off Sportsmemorabilia.com and Prosportsmemorabilia.com and lately reading some reviews I just feel the whole thing is shady. Could someone please tell me if I've been taken for a ride AND what sites are the most reliable for buying the REAL DEAL? Please and thank you.

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The picture is I obviously need to do more homework and learn how to spot fakes. 

Lawrence, 

Are you talking about this Mickey Mantle?

If so, I may be able to answer your question. But I'm nowhere near as good as Chris and many others here on Mantle autographs:

There are a lot of signs in this one that say it's not genuine. Most of all, the M's are signed slowly and awkwardly. Mickey Mantle was remarkably consistent in signing autographs, and almost always signed beautiful autographs, especially on photos.

The angles of the T and L of Mantle are really off as well. 

that one directly above is a joke.  for someone that studies autographs, just looking at a handful of PSA, JSA, BAS or SGC certed Mantle's, one would see the obvious differences.  As Steve Z states, the one that Christopher presented IS an obvious forgery. but rather than try to explain the differences, when you see that forgery style over and over again, and also see authentic versions over and over again, it becomes very apparent.  sometimes this hobby gets too technical.  it truly is, all in the eye. of course, unless you are one of those forensic document examiners, whose opinions we all so highly value.

Exactly, Terrier.

And as you commented, Terrier, all of that Forensic BS.

Yes, where would the hobby be without the trained eyes of the likes of Christopher Morales, a man of the highest integrity.

Thank you, James.

I despise those so-called "Forensic Authenticators" who have literally certed tens of thousands of forgeries.

You know, you're right. I've had this picture for more than 50 years and never looked at it close enough to see just how far off it really is from ones that have been authenticated. It's not even close. At least I didn't pay for it. WHen I was a kid we used to send pictures to players asking for them to sign them. Many sent them back signed. This was one of them. I have dozens. I'll have to examine all closely now to see if they're this bad. Damn. 

Thanks.

Christopher Williams, that is exactly what those leeches do. I occasionally go to their website just for laughs to see how much they've marked up a legitimate seller's price. Sportsmemorabilia.com listed a Star War item I was looking at on eBay. On eBay, the real owner listed it for $3400, but those parasites at SM listed it on their site for about $6000...hoping some sucker would bite. I feel bad for the OP who built a collection through that shady website. One could in fact build an authentic collection buying from them...at perhaps nearly double the cost! Buying from them is just like giving them charity, but if one wants to give away money, why not try donating to cancer research instead!

Exactly.

Huge thanks for the sportsmemorabilia.com info. Found an item on there and then went to ebay (after reading this) and found the exact item (same COA#) for about half price.

Also, somewhat new to the hobby, am wondering everyone's thoughts on how trustworthy Beckett Authentication is. Been considering buying a few hockey items with their COA (and hologram) but wasn’t sure about how credible/reliable their authentications are. any thoughts are greatly appreciated!

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